When I arrived at the venue I was surprised to see a queue for entry, something I've never seen happen at The Exchange before - proving that even if a gig is at a relatively distant location people will come. The venue set the mood for the evening; dark, rough (reminiscent of TJ's Newport RIP), underground, no signal - was I in a horror film? The setting provided the right environment for what was going to be an intimately dark, intense enjoyment for the eyes and ears. The room was already brimming with eager clientele of the dark genres, creating a perfect environment for the opening act.
20:30 was introduced with a wave of noise that full-throttle smacked the audience in the face thanks to first support Nasty Little Lonely with new track 'Lizardbrain'. The bass was so loud and low that I couldn't feel my body functioning, causing possible respiratory damage. I couldn't breathe - epic. Fully fuelled dark post-punk ignited the room accompanied by sultry, teasing vocals from front woman, Miss Beddoes. The Bristol favourites showcased songs from their new EP 'Son of the Flies', an EP regularly featured on my iTunes. Their doom-filled, energetic set ended with the first and title track off their new EP.
When the Epicdemics hit the stage, the room was thriving with musical aggression. The comical 3 piece, which features members from Future of the Left, created a home from home atmosphere.
Such hilarity was introduced with lines like "Have a welsh cake and a cuppa tea" and "This song is about killing your friend in a desert and getting a profit". Crowd interaction resulted in "Get your cadillac driving arms in the air. Shit, that guys steering wheel is on fire!". A definite band to see live, not just because the sheer aggressive passion in their music but because of their comical engagement with the audience. A win for the Welsh!
As the time drew closer for The Wytches headline performance, the crowd increased again. I believe that they are a 'tall-person' band due to the fact I was caged in by human pillars and couldn't see, and that's saying something for someone who is a proud 5 foot 8".
Words cannot describe the intensity of the room when the opening riff of 'Digsaw' (a Creeping Cat favourite) was played. All focus was on the stage. Kristian Bells bellowing screams going into the chorus hit hyper mode with the audience. The garage punk influences of The Cramps combined with a hint of The Horrors would be a description still shy of the sound of The Wytches. After graduating from Digsaw and moving into 'Burn out the Bruise' I managed to scape my human cage and wormed my way from here…
… to here
Breaking into their latest single 'Gravedweller', the crowd erupted with furious passion filling the room with the smell of a school PE changing room, which personified in the pictures I took on my trusty phone camera.
After an exhilarating set equivalent to a 2 hour gym session, The Wytches ended their show with Kristen Bell swinging his limbs 'like a pendulum' to 'Crying Clown'. A burnt out crowd soon raced up stairs to grasp a breath of fresh air. Dripping with sweat and other peoples bodily fluids, it was a night that you had to experience. With a new record deal with Heavenly Records and a set at SXSW, 2014 will be the year for The Wytches.
But, sadly, all good things have to come to an end and I was once again a client to the land of nod.
Thankfully, I still have my badass Wytches stash to keep me ticking over until the next time...